Two things I knew about Lucali, the New York–Neapolitan-style pizzeria in Brooklyn, before going: the wait is insane (easily an hour on an average evening) and Jay-Z and Beyoncé had been spotted there on date nights. But it's one of those NYC must-try pizzerias, so you put your name in, wait, and see what all the fuss is about. You can also call ahead to get your name on the list.
The space is cozy (read also: small), softly lit, and they let you BYO. The menu is simple: pizza (only one size, large, for $24) and calzones. Since this isn't Daily Calzone, we tried the pizza. Don't underestimate basil as a topping—it's grown in their backyard garden and they basically give you a basket's worth, still in whole leaves, some connected by stems. The layer of San Marzano tomato sauce is topped with melted mozzarella, and a sprinkling of Grana Padano shreds. The crust, however, is love-or-not-so-love. Crackery with hollow bubbles, it's not the doughy, chewy kind. If that's a dealbreaker for you, maybe save your hour-plus of waiting.
575 Henry Street, Brooklyn NY 11231 (b/n Carroll and 1st streets; map) 718-858-4086
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